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Monday May 28, 2012

Africa's tallest building proposed for Centurion Lake

An estimated R17 billion has been budgeted for the construction of what could be the tallest building in Africa. The Centurion Symbio-City project is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be constructed on the site of the current Centurion Lake.

An artist's impression of the Symbio-City project.

It is expected that the project will topple the Carlton Centre in Joburg's CBD from its position as the tallest in Africa.

The project's three towers were designed by 126Group Architects, with the tallest reaching 110 storeys which will be flanked by two towers of 80 and 60 floors respectively.

The total height of the building will be 447m, as opposed to the Carlton Centre's 223m height.

Briefing delegates to the Tshwane International Trade and Infrastructure Investment Conference at the Centurion Aerospace Village yesterday, engineer Roger Warren, said the project was "well thought out".

"We did not wake up today and think about the project. We went and studied modern cities," he said.

Warren said Centurion was developing as a corporate destination with about 318 companies in the area dealing with hitech equipment.

According to Warren, people migrate to better facilities, adding that the project would include hotel and retail facilities. Warren said 10 910 jobs would be created during the construction phase, and 4 804 when the project is completed.

He said the Hennops River would flow underneath the building through a tunnel.

The Centurion Lake, which has been a source of unhappiness among business people, Warren said, would be turned into a swimming pool.

He said they were aware that Centurion was a dolomitic area and they had devised a plan to tackle the problem.

"We will anchor the building about 43m into the ground," he said.

Warren said they had partnered with the Tshwane Metro Council for the project.

According to Tshwane's executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa "timing has never been more appropriate to leverage the economy that Tshwane is contributing towards South Africa's growth".

Ramokgopa said the location of the project - between the Ben Schoeman highway and the N1 highway corridor - was an environment currently surrounded by businesses, offices, residential and commercial facilities.

"This locality in Gauteng, which, as a province, is the fourth largest economy in Africa, has immense potential waiting to be unlocked," he said, adding that the development would offer a high-quality living experience in which people would want to invest.

He said: "The development is a reflection of the range of economic opportunities, cultural experiences, safety, and quality physical environment that Tshwane offers."

He said the availability of a variety of effective and efficiently-provided public services, as well as affordable and green commuting options and amenities were all important factors in creating a high quality living experience.

"The construction of this development will also assist towards job creation, by generating in excess of 10 000 jobs during construction and in excess of 4 000 sustainable jobs post-construction," he said.

According to Ramokgopa, Tshwane, Joburg and Ekurhuleni are the extremities of the golden economic triangle of Gauteng.

"Centurion is positioned within the development corridors linking these cities and thus it will be a major player in the proposed high-intensity developments which are destined to take place in the region.

"With 57 percent of the local labour force in the area being involved in professional and related occupations, all suburbs in the trade area are predominantly middle-to-high income suburbs," he said.

Pretoria News Weekend

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